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Volume 71, Issue 136, Thursday, April 27, 2006

Sports

NBA should consider shortening lengthy postseason

Tubby

Blake Minor 

Maybe it is time we figure out how to shorten the NBA playoffs to a month, or even six weeks.

The NBA season starts in October and ends the middle of April. That is a six-month span for the regular season, which equals that of baseball and hockey. But then we roll into the postseason, which lasts two months. That is one-third of the time that the regular season lasts. There has to be some way the NBA can figure out how to condense the amount of time the playoffs take. Shorten the best-of-seven series down to five. Put games closer together.

I know that basketball is tiring and drains most players' energy, but these are professional athletes getting paid a sizable salary to play a game. Well-paid surgeons don't take four-day breaks after a major operation; they come in the next day and do it again. Suck it up and play back-to-back days, travel for a day and play again -- that way each series lasts a bit more than a week rather than two weeks or more. 

There also needs to be a solution to the 16-team playoff. Baseball has four teams and there isn't a person out there who can honestly say that most years the best teams do not make it in. For the NBA, the best team does not always win. It turns into a game of which team can stay healthy enough to last two months. See the Detroit Pistons and Rip Hamilton's sprained ankle, which could affect his play.

Don't get me wrong -- the game itself is fun to watch, but leave it at that. Let it be about amazing athletes out there throwing their hearts on the floor and trying to win a championship that they have all dreamed about since being a child.

Make it the game that James Nasmith intended it to be by having coordination and skill to put a big round ball into a large hoop.

Send comments to dcsports@mail.uh.edu

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